Minister of education Samuel gives an update on the current school situation



PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Hon. Drs. Rodolphe E. Samuel Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport would hereby like to provide the general public with a further update regarding schools’ readiness to resume face to face instruction on upcoming Monday, October 19th 2020.

As per today, October 16th 2020, the safety plans and inspection reports of several other schools were approved by the Division of Inspection ECYS.   Additionally, schools have indicated bussing needs and we are working with bus operators to ensure that all students requiring transport to and from school are accommodated.

The Minister is aware that all schools will not commence with Examination classes on October 19th, 2020 as several schools have made plans to start at a later date.  All schools that have not yet met all the requirements and will be finalizing during the course of the next week, will inform parents when classes for their children will resume via their various student tracking systems and online platforms during the course of the next few days.

The general public is reminded that prior to the reopening of school campuses, it is of utmost importance that all safety plans and facility inspections are approved. This requirement is in place in an effort to safeguard the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. As we work together to keep our community safe, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

As parents and students of Examination classes make their final preparations over the next few days to ensure a safe return, parents are encouraged to ensure that their child is equipped with their mask, sanitizer, water, lunch and all of the required learning materials requested by their child’s school, as children will be encouraged to avoid sharing these objects.  Parents are also encouraged to remind their children to adhere to new safety guidelines in the school setting that will be shared by their teachers and school management, as well as on the school buses by the school bus operators.  On the bus, each student will be required to sanitize their hands upon entry and will be required to wear a mask and to sit in the designated areas.  If the child will carpool to school, parents should ensure that there is agreement amongst the adults that every child in the carpool wear their mask for the entire trip.

Prior to leaving for school on Monday, parents are encouraged to ensure that their child is well.  Parents are also encouraged to speak to their child about the return to school and to address any concerns that they may have.  Parents should review with their children proper hand hygiene at home, especially before and after eating, sneezing, coughing, and adjusting to wearing a mask. Parents should also remind their children that they should make washing their hands immediately when returning home a part of their routine and that they should inform an adult if they are not feeling well.

The Minister would like to inform the general public that releases to provide additional tips and inform all concerned about the safe return to school will continue over the course of the next few weeks.  The Minister of ECYS would also like to assure the general public, education professionals, parents and students that all stakeholders will continue to work together to realize the safe return to school campuses.